Sunday, January 22, 2006

I'm In Laundry Heaven! 

I have always been a little anal about my laundry. Two things come to mind as to why I am. First, from the time I was 5 until I was in my 20's I had to go to the laundromat. We were rather "economically challenged" when I was growing up, so owning a washer and dryer was a luxury. When I was a young adult, I remained "economically challenged." It wasn't until my Mom passed away and left me her washer and dryer that I actually owned a washer and dryer.

Secondly, when you are "economically challenged," you've got to make your clothes last because the chance to buy more is not something you can plan on. This started me to air drying my clothes so that they wouldn't shrink and the colors wouldn't fade. I wonderful side-benefit is that if I spill something on my ample bosoms, (which unfortunately, I'm prone to do) air drying prevents you from drying the stain in forever if the washer didn't get it all out.

Well, Mom's dryer had died a year or so ago and the washer was in the midst of death throes. It was time for me to do something very grown up - purchase major appliances of my very own!

So I did my research on Consumer Reports and figured out which one I wanted. Next was to wait for one of the stores to run a good "same as cash financing" deal. Finally the day came that I opened the Best Buy ad from the Sunday paper and they advertised my washer and dryer that I wanted with "same as cash financing" until January 2009!!!

The next hurdle was qualifying for the "same as cash financing." Being "economically challenged" until your late 20's takes a lot of work to dig out from under as far as credit scores go. Friday I walked into Best Buy and went to the customer service counter to apply for the credit. I tried to look cool as I was sweating bullets hoping I'd get approved for at least what I needed to get the washer and dryer. Lo and behold, I got more than enough to purchase my washer and dryer! YAY ME!

I went back and purchased my washer and dryer, thinking I'd maybe get it late next week. WRONG! The cashier said, "Is delivery on Sunday OK?" I replied, "Sunday? As in day after tomorrow?" He smiled and nodded and I emphatically replied, "Heck yeah!" They called and said they would be there between 9-11am and they were there just after 8:30 and out the door by 9:05!!! Could this have gone any better? I don't think so!

My first load was underwear, socks, towels and sheets - something I would always dry. However my second load was pants. I thought about it only a moment when it came time to put them in the dryer. New clothes will come, and now that I have 87 different settings on the dryer, shrinkage need not occur!

This means a lot to me. Just by the otherwise simple act of buying a major appliance, I have broken out of some of the last "economically challenged" chains that my upbringing put on me.

Thank you, God!

I think Mom and Dad are doing a "happy dance" for me up in heaven!



Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Georgia Aquarium 

Whenever I heard that they were building an Aquarium here in Atlanta, I must admit that I scoffed at the idea. Why were they building an aquarium so close to the Chattanooga aquarium? Wouldn't they cancel each other out since they are so close together?

So I started to hear the buzz about how freakin' big the place was going to be and how there were going to be Whale Sharks. OK...maybe having an aquarium will be OK. Opening day got closer and closer and the buzz got louder and louder and before I knew it, I had purchased an annual pass!

I finally got to use the pass this past weekend for the first time and I have just 3 words for you:


It WAS freakin' huge!

I walked in to the place and looked around and saw the Ocean Voyager room. I heard this is where the Whale Sharks were so I bee-lined my way there. You walk in and you go thru a tube that is going through the tank. You can get on a moving sidewalk so you can gawk but still move. The biggest gawk for me was the first time one of the Whale Sharks did a fly by!!! (Can you tell I'm fascinated by the Whale Sharks?) After you got out of the tube, you walk a little farther and enter a theatre where one of the largest pieces of plexiglass ever made looks in on one of the largest tanks ever made.

Again - let me say: OH. MY. GOD.

There were the whale sharks, huge schools of manta rays, Giant Grouper, hammerhead sharks, sawfish, huge schools of pretty yellow fish and on and on and on. I was in awe! I had to find a place to sit down and just take it all in and there is a lot to take in!!

Finally my friends persuaded me to leave and we went across the way to the Cold Water exhibit. There were Sea Otters and Sea Lions and penguins and beautifully peaceful Beluga Whales! I could have sat and watched the Beluga's for hours as well!

We went to another exhibit and I was on sensory overload and don't remember much of it. My friends asked me where I wanted to go since the Aquarium was about to close and before we knew it, we were walking back toward the huge room with the huge tank of huge fish. We stayed until they announced the Aquarium was about to close.

I'm so glad I bought the annual pass! Especially since they have quit selling them since so many of them sold! I CAN'T WAIT TO GO BACK!

If you live within 250 miles of Atlanta - GO TO THE AQUARIUM! If you were planning a trip to the Southeast - GO TO THE AQUARIUM! If you are overdue to visit a friend in Atlanta - go visit them and then both of you can GO TO THE AQUARIUM! You will not be disappointed!

Did I mention that the place is SO FREAKIN' HUGE?


Friday, January 06, 2006

Keeping my Sister Tethered 

While I was at my Sister and BIL's for Christmas, my nephew and I noticed something about my Sister. Well - we didn't really notice - since we already knew this about my Sister - but we had fun giggling at her expense as a result of it.

My Sister cannot sit still.

It's true! Christmas Eve there was a lot going on in the house with all the people milling around. However we were starting to believe that she just didn't want to be in the same room with us! Of course that wasn't the case, but we laughed quietly to ourselves every time we entered a room that she was in, and she would get up and go in the other room. I kid you not! It must have happened about 4 times!

M caught us laughing a couple of times and mouthed, "What?!?" at us from across the room. We just smiled and shrugged. She just rolled her eyes as if to say, "WhatEVER!!"

M, R, E and I were sitting in the living room watching a movie when I finally realized that one of the things R does is keep M tethered from time to time. If they are sitting on the couch together and they are holding hands, she stays put. However if they should not hold hands for whatever reason, M is up and running.

There was a time during the weekend, though when E was doing the tethering. Mother and Son sitting quietly on the couch holding hands because it's been so long since they had been able to do that. That was a nice moment to be witness to as well.

I guess it takes one of the 2 loves of her life - R or E - to keep my sister still for a few precious moments.

That sounds about right to me.


Monday, January 02, 2006


Yeah - I know - I said I was going to start blogging again regularly and what did I do? Promptly fell off the side of the world again.

The weeks leading up to Christmas were very busy! I don't know why but it was all I could do to drag myself to and from work during that time period. When I finally drove away from work toward NC and my family on 12/22/05 at 3:35pm, I finally felt like I could let out a sigh of relief.

6 hours later, during which I had two 1.5 hr long phone conversations and several short little chats, I pulled into the driveway of my sister and brother-in-law. OMG! I think the Electric Company will be sending them a big thank you note after the holidays! The house was blazing with lights. I walked into the house to find 2 trees set up and lit and M & R were assembling another. Not only that, you couldn't turn around without knocking over a Santa Claus or a Snowman! To say my sister and BIL decorated the house would be an understatement!

I got to hang out with my sister by myself the next day and I was so happy to get some one on one time with her! We ran errands and stuff and came back to the house and watched the clock tick away the time until my nephew showed up. We both hugged the stuffing out of him and one of us was probably always touching him for the remainder of the weekend.

That night we "blessed" the neighborhood with our caroling. We drove around the subdivision and sang our version (usually off color) of Christmas Carols. We all laughed until we thought we'd pass out. A good time was had by all.

Christmas Eve found R's kids and grandkids coming over. I was most excited about this because I bought every kid a gift that I really hoped they would like. We all ate a wonderful meal and then after the kids and grandkids went back to their homes, we collapsed in the living room to watch Christmas movies.

Christmas Day we got up and opened gifts to and from each other. M & R got me a beautiful reversible comforter that is purple on one side and lilac on the other and purple polka dotted sheets. In addition M made me a charm bracelet and matching charm earrings and gave me a beautiful set of diamond stud earrings. E got me a gift card to one of my favorite stores - Tar-Jay!

The rest of the day was spent resting and relaxing before R's Biker buddies showed up. We played "Dirty Santa" and ate leftovers. After they left, M and I coerced E and R to play Scrabble on the new Scrabble board I gave M & R.

The next day I begrudingly had to head back home. I sure do love my family and treasure the time I get to spend with them. I wish we lived a bit closer to each other, but I guess the upside of not living as close is that we truly cherish the time we get to spend together.

New Year's Eve found me in my PJ's on the couch watching "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants," and "Million Dollar Baby." It was very nice and very relaxing! New Year's Day I was invited over to L & G's for dinner which is always wonderful. Today I had a lunch date with Jef and hung out with him while he gave 2F a lunch break at the bookstore. I had an eye appointment and got some CUTE new frames and then it was off to buy some new sneakers. All in all a very nice weekend.

I raise my glass to you and yours and hope you have a wonderful, happy, healthy and prosperous 2006!


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